Student Voice


November 30, 2023



Downtown River Falls lights up for the holiday season

December 6, 2021

When the air gets a little colder and the holiday season approaches, a variety of groups come together in downtown River Falls to brighten up the town.

“It’s a group effort between the City of River Falls, River Falls Municipal Utilities, and our contractor Save A Tree,” said Mike Noreen, the city’s conservation and efficiency coordinator. These groups come together to decorate downtown as community members see it during the holiday season. 

The trees on Main Street are often decorated with red and white globes that glow as soon as it gets dark. The globes hanging from the branches are paired with bright lights wrapped around the trunks of each tree. Noreen says that the city has been putting up lights for decades, but the wrapping of the trunks and hanging of the globes started as recently as 2016. 

The lights that brighten up Main Street can be seen throughout the typical winter months but stay around a little after the holidays.

“Considering they’re red and white, we like to get a two for one,” said Noreen, “We keep them lit until Valentine’s Day and remove them as soon after as the weather allows.” 

The lights stretch down Main Street from East Pine to East Locust and are bright LED lights for all to see as part of the city’s consistent efforts towards sustainability.

“The sustainability portion was us moving from incandescent to LEDs, putting them on timers, and powering them with renewable energy,” said Noreen. He says that the city strives to be a leader in sustainability and that continues with lights on trees during the holiday season. Noreen himself coordinates the lighting and acts as the main point of contact for the entirety of the project. He says that the funding for the project is covered by POWERful Choices! which is the sustainability department at the River Falls Municipal Utilities.